On the whole Tory Historian would prefer not to have the picture of London's Mayor at the top of this website. The organization, the King James Bible Trust, is entirely praiseworthy and TH hopes that many readers will look at the site, bookmark it and note whatever events it organizes to promote a wider knowledge of the book that changed the Anglosphere's understanding of the world and religion. Can one really think English-language literature or politics without the King James Bible or, as it is often known, the Authorized Version?
It is a little sad to read in the little pamphlet that was handed out at the launch that
Each month on average 450,000 people around the world use Google to search for "King+James+Bible", yet only 40,000 of those searches (fewer than 10%) originate in the UK.TH suspects with a deep sigh that it is not because everything about the subject is known to everybody in this country.
One publication to mark the forthcoming anniversary is by the eminent historian Gordon Campbell. It is entitled Bible: The Story of the King James Version 1611 - 2011 (reviewed in the Guardian here), a highly entertaining as well as scholarly volume. Among other things, Professor Campbell writes about various editions, which varied from each other until a master text was published in 1769. Before and after that event there were editorial and printers' corrections as well as some highly entertaining misprints.
Tory Historian was particularly taken by this accout:
In the first edition of the KJV designed for private study (1612), as opposed to reading aloud in church, Psalm 119:161 read "Printers have persecuted me without cause": "printers" was a misprint for "princes".Maybe so. But anybody in the writing and publishing business would have agreed with the unfortunate psalmist.
The King James Bible is usually described as the only example of a committee (of scholars in this case) producing something very fine. Its publication was, as it happens, also a political event of great importance. So, perhaps, it is appropriate that there should be the picture of a living politician on the website.